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荷兰皇家壳牌企图应对气候变化

Royal Dutch Shell tries to reckon with climate change
荷兰皇家壳牌企图应对气候变化
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2019-01-03 19:32
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荷兰皇家壳牌企图应对气候变化

INTERNATIONAL OIL companies wrestle with the clash between their duty to deliver value to shareholders and the fact that how they produce those returns threatens the planet. A key question is whether they can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions without gutting their businesses. On December 3rd Royal Dutch Shell went further than any other oil major so far in insisting it could. The firm announced that it would set specific targets for reducing carbon emissions every three to five years, with the goal of shrinking its net carbon footprint by about half by 2050.

国际石油公司目前在两难中挣扎,一是担负着向股东们输送价值的责任,二是面临如何制造这些威胁地球的利益的现实。关键在于石油公司能否在不触及现有商业的前提下降低温体排放。12月3号,荷兰皇家壳牌坚持在自己力所能及范围内相较同业对手走的更远。该公司宣称在今后每三到五年将就碳减排设定具体目标,着眼于到2050年净碳足迹实现减半。

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Shell will also ask shareholders to reward executives for managing a transition to cleaner energy, though the details are still to be worked out. Remarkably, its targets will cover not only emissions from its own production of oil and gas, but from all cars, lorries, planes and factories that eventually burn the stuff. Shell will use sales of its products to estimate their subsequent emissions. Other changes include reviewing ties with lobbying groups bent on undermining action on climate change (the oil-and-gas industry spent $126m lobbying in America last year; only four other industries spent more). These steps are unprecedented—and a reminder of how far the rest of the industry has to go.

壳牌公司还会要求股东对高管给予奖励,以表彰他们在向更加清洁能源转型作出的努力,不过相关细节还有待研究。该公司的目标显然不仅仅涵盖自己的油气产品生产产生的气体,还包括到最终消耗掉产品前所使用的汽车,卡车,飞机,工厂。壳牌公司会根据产品销量来预估接下来的排放情况。包括重新考虑与游说团体关系在内的其他改变取决于与气候变化有关的破坏性行动(美国油气产业去年花了1.26亿美元用于游说,其余行业只有四个的游说花费高于油气行业)。此类举措可谓史无前例,这也提醒着油气行业未来还有很长的路要走。

 

Oil majors, despite their critics, remain a staple of investment portfolios. They pay large, reliable dividends. Shell has not cut its dividend since the second world war. Far from fleeing them, the biggest 20 institutional investors globally account for a rising proportion of their shareholders. Last year they held 27% of the majors’ shares, up from 24% in 2014.

即使饱受批评,大型石油公司仍以投资项目为主。这些公司有着大份额可靠的红利。壳牌公司自二战以来就未削减过红利。没有选择逃避,全球最大的20家投资机构的股东占有率也成比例增长。其主要石油公司的股份占有率从2014年的24%上升到去年的27%。

 

Nevertheless, shareholder resolutions on climate have become a common feature of annual meetings. Since 2014 the number of votes on such resolutions has more than doubled. A year ago 310 investors concerned about environmental damage, managing a whopping $32trn between them, launched a group called Climate Action 100+ to co-ordinate efforts. Oil majors now express support for the Paris climate agreement. Their bosses lead the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a voluntary effort to lower emissions from their operations.

不过,股东在气候变化上的解决方案已经成为年会的共同特点。自2014年以来,此类方案的支持者数量增加了不止一倍。一年前,310名投资人由于担心环境变化的危害出资32万亿美元成立了一个名叫气候行动100+的团体来共同努力。主要石油公司如今对《巴黎气候协定》表示支持。众领导带头落实《油气气候倡议》,自愿努力降低生产排放。

Still, oil chiefs take very different views of how dramatically firms should evolve. Climate-related strategies are starting to diverge. For instance, BP spent nearly $13m this year to defeat a ballot initiative for a carbon tax in Washington state. Some companies, including Shell, have mostly divested their holdings in oil sands, one of the most carbon-intensive sources of oil, but ExxonMobil remains a big owner.

诚然,石油公司领导人在公司发展问题上的看法大相径庭。气候相关的策略正趋向异化。比如,英国石油公司今年就花了近1300万美元来否决华盛顿州的碳税提议。油砂是碳排放浓度最高的石油资源之一,包括荷兰壳牌公司在内的诸多企业几乎都在出售其油砂股份,但是艾克森石油公司仍保有大量股份。

Shell’s own announcement amounts to a volte-face. Its chief executive, Ben van Beurden, recently dismissed long-term binding targets on carbon as “foolhardy”. Shell would be vulnerable to lawsuits if it missed the goals, he said. But after talks with investors, led by Robeco, an asset manager, and the Church of England Pensions Board, ultimately overseen by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Shell agreed to set short-term goals in the service of a longer-term ambition. That it can adjust its targets, says one energy lawyer, lowers its legal risk. Oil peers will be watching to see if Mr van Beurden can protect both the planet and his firm’s dividend.

壳牌石油公司的这一宣布无异于一个180度大转变。最近,公司首席执行官苯.梵.博尔登(Ben van Beurden)认为长期碳绑定目标纯属愚勇行为。他说,公司一旦无法完成目标将极有有可能受到法律诉讼。在于以资产经理罗贝克(Robeco)和英国国教退休金委员会领导的投资者们一番谈论,并在坎特伯雷大主教,贾斯汀.维尔拜(Justin Welby),的审查下,荷兰壳牌石油公司最终同意设定短期目标为长期雄心计划的实现预先铺路。一位能源律师说这样一来壳牌石油公司得以调整其目标并降低法律风险。石油领域的对手将静观梵.博尔登(Mr van Beurden)能否做到保卫地球与公司红利双丰收。

Correction (January 2nd 2019): This article previously described Robeco as a hedge fund. It is an asset manager which does not run hedge funds itself. This has been corrected.

纠正(2019.1.2):该文章之前将罗贝克(Robeco)描写成了对冲基金。但罗贝克(Robeco)是资产经理本身并不会运转对冲基金。这一错误已经得到纠正。

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